Lisa Carrington cherishing time in hometown ahead of massive year on the water

In between winning world championship gold medals and preparing to defend her Olympic title in Tokyo, Kiwi kayaker Lisa Carrington has managed to find some downtime back home in the Bay of Plenty - her definiton of it anyway.

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Carrington is back in the Bay of Plenty visiting her old school and going for "casual" seven kilometre runs around Waiotahi Valley. Source: Breakfast

Carrington is spending time with Kiwi kids today at her old school Waoitahi Valley School and is even handing out sports backpacks thanks to one of her sponsors.

"I'm very fortunate and privileged in the position that I am to be able to do that," Carrington told TVNZ1's Breakfast.

"My parents still teach here and they taught me when I was growing up so I'm fortunate that I have that connection and that I can keep coming back."

Carrington had a stellar year on the water, claiming three golds at the World Cup in Poland in May before adding two world championship titles in the K1 200m and K1 500m finals in Hungary.

It means the Kiwi kayaker is on track to shine next year in Tokyo, but she knows there's still plenty of training that needs to be done - even in her downtime.

Carrington told Breakfast she went for a "short run" this morning as she'll be training on the water later this afternoon, but the presenters pushed her for a number and were left scoffing.

"Like, seven kilometres - not far," she laughed.

The "casual" runs allow Carrington to disconnect from her busy schedule, though.

"When I can, I have to figure out how to calm myself down and get grounded again," she said.

"I'm lucky that I can come back to a place like this and know exactly where my roots and find some sort of sense of normality."